OREGON RURAL REHABILITATION FUND
The purpose of these rules is to provide criteria and procedures to be used by the Oregon State Land Board and the Division of State Lands in distributing monies from the Oregon Rural Rehabilitation (ORR) Fund. The rules are to be construed in accordance with ORS 566.310 through 566.360 and with the 1975 Use Agreement between the Board and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farmers Home Administration Program.
(1) "Fund" means the Oregon Rural Rehabilitation (ORR) Fund.
(2) "Assets" means the principle of the Fund and all income, proceeds, and acquisitions derived from it.
(3) "Farms" means farms or ranches located within the boundaries of this state.
(4) "Farmers" means individuals who operate farms or ranches located within the boundaries of this state and who are residents of this state.
(5) "Board" means the Oregon State Land Board.
(6) "Division" means the Division of State Lands.
Uses of the Fund
As outlined in the 1975 Use Agreement between the state and the federal government, assets of the Fund may be used for one or more of the following farm-related purposes:
(1) Loans to farmers made for acquisition or development of farms or for refinancing farm real estate debts;
(2) Loans to farmers for farm operating expenses;
(3) Loans or grants to farmers for flood prevention or restoration projects;
(4) Loans or grants for farm labor housing and related facilities;
(5) Loans or grants for educational expenses for farmers, members of their families, or farm laborers; and
(6) Loans or grants for farming-oriented projects carried out by youth organizations including Future Farmers of America, Future Homemakers of America, and 4-H Clubs.
(1) The Board may require retention of a minimum balance in the Fund to ensure that monies will be available for future awards.
(2) Awards shall be made only in the form of loans and only to qualified applicants for approved uses of the Fund:
(a) The loans shall be made from the loanable balance of the ORR Fund, from the interest income of the Fund, and from annual loan repayments;
(b) The number of loans shall be determined by the Board.
(3) Maximum loan amounts shall be determined by the Board prior to notifying the public of available funds.
(4) The Board shall establish the maximum interest rate for each funding cycle prior to giving public notice of available funds.
(5) The Board shall determine the interest rate to accompany each award based on the applicant's financial ability to repay interest on the award.
(6) The Board shall determine repayment schedules on each award based on the financial ability of the applicant to repay the award and interest imposed under section (4) of this rule.
(7) The Board shall determine appropriate security for each award based on the availability and value of the security and the nature and extent of encumbrances upon such security.
(1) To determine effective uses of the Fund, the Division shall, upon the request of the Board, conduct an assessment of Oregon's farm needs before each funding cycle.
(2) The needs assessment shall include submission of a written questionnaire to the state's major farm organizations and the holding of public hearings.
(3) Notice for such public hearings shall be mailed to the state's major farm organizations, individuals and other organizations who have indicated an interest in the Fund; and to major newspapers, television, and radio stations throughout the state.
(4) The Division shall analyze the results of the needs assessment and recommend to the Board loan priorities for the funding cycle.
(5) The Board may establish priorities or preferred uses for each funding cycle.
Requests for Applications
(1) At least 45 days in advance of the application deadline in any funding cycle, the Division shall issue a request for loan applications, which gives notice of the total amount of monies available for loans during the cycle, the maximum amount of individual loans, the maximum interest rate on loans and the Board's priorities, if any, for loans.
(2) The Notice shall be mailed to the state's major farm organizations; individuals and other organizations who have asked to be notified when funds are available; and to the state's major newspapers, television, and radio stations.
(1) The Division shall not accept loan applications from previous recipients of awards from the Fund.
(2) Loan applications shall be submitted to the Division no later than the deadline date specified in the request for applications.
(3) Loan applications shall contain the following information:
(a) A description of the proposed project;
(b) An itemization of costs of the proposed project;
(c) The expected number of project beneficiaries;
(d) Letters from at least two lending institutions stating the applicant does not qualify for loans under rates and terms which the applicant can reasonably be expected to meet;
(e) A list of real property owned by the applicant and a verified report of all financial encumbrances against the described property(ies);
(f) A financial statement of the applicant; and
(g) Any other information required under the request for loan applications and application form.
Review of Applications
(1) Within 30 days after the deadline for loan applications, the Division shall evaluate each application under the following criteria:
(a) Compliance with application requirements and annual priorities or preferred uses approved by the Board;
(b) Need for the project and solution effectiveness;
(c) Number of project beneficiaries; and
(d) Applicant's financial need.
(2) Results of the analysis shall be forwarded with recommendations for loan approvals to the Board at the next regularly scheduled meeting immediately following the evaluation.
Funds Made Available
Upon approval by the Board, the Division shall issue approved loans subject to the terms and conditions described in OAR 141-060-0015, and such additional provisions as the director may require.